WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will retire from the Senate on the finish of this time period, he introduced Tuesday, a choice that may convey a many years-lengthy congressional profession to an finish early subsequent yr.
“After a lot prayer and dialogue with household and buddies, I’ve determined to retire on the finish of this time period,” Hatch, eighty three, stated in a video posted on Twitter. Hatch is the president professional tempore of the Senate, in addition to the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Hatch’s retirement means an open seat race in his Republican-leaning state on this yr’s midterm election. Some Republicans anticipate Mitt Romney to run for Hatch’s seat, though the previous presidential nominee has not made any definitive public statements about his plans.
As the highest lawmaker on the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch performed a key position in passing the tax invoice that President Donald Trump signed into regulation late final month.
“When the President visited Utah final month, he stated I used to be a fighter. I’ve all the time been a fighter. I used to be an newbie boxer in my youth, and I introduced that preventing spirit with me to Washington. However each good fighter is aware of when to hold up the gloves. And for me, that point is quickly approaching,” Hatch stated in a press release.
“That is why, after a lot prayer and dialogue with household and pals, I’ve determined to retire on the finish of this time period. Though I’ll miss serving you within the Senate, I sit up for spending extra time with household, particularly my candy spouse, Elaine, whose unwavering love and help made all of this attainable.”
For months, Hatch’s political future has been on the minds of Republican strategists and officers, lots of whom have anticipated him to step down.
Hatch was first elected to the Senate in 1976. He’s ending up his seventh time period within the higher chamber of Congress this yr.
As president professional tempore, Hatch is at present within the presidential line of succession behind Vice President Mike Pence and Home Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.